Barbecue is a way of life in Texas, and few places offer a better selection than the city of Austin. The barbecue joints come in all different shapes and sizes: casual food trailers and upscale restaurants, lunchtime-only vendors and places that stay open all day, and venues with both outdoor picnic spaces and indoor table service. Visitors to the city will also be spoiled for choice when it comes to the wide variety of special barbecue sauces and rubs prepared according to secret family recipes. Whether your meat of choice is brisket, ribs, or sausages, Austin, Texas will provide you with the best there is.
Established in 2006, Lamberts is an upscale restaurant that specializes in slow-smoked barbecue and modern Texas cuisine. The menu changes regularly so as to feature the best seasonal products, but customers can expect an excellent array of appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, smoked barbecue, and grilled meats. The restaurant also has an upstairs bar and lounge; live music is played here every night, and the space can be rented out for private events. Happy hour takes place every day of the week between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and specials are offered on appetizers, drinks, and bar food.
2nd Street District, 401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-494-1500
© Kerlin BBQ
Kerlin BBQ is a permanent barbecue trailer that serves up traditional, mouth-watering Texas barbecue complemented by unique side dishes. Meats are offered by the pound or in the form of a sandwich and sides include blue cheese coleslaw, jalapeño dill potato salad, smoked corn with chipotle butter, and Mexican charro beans. People who would like to skip the line can order ahead; a minimum of 3 pounds of meat is required, and orders must be placed at least 72 hours in advance. The joint is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm or until sold out.
1700 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-412-5588
© Ruby's BBQ
Born out of a desire to bring affordable but high-quality food to the University of Texas area, Ruby's BBQ serves up traditional Texas barbecue and Cajun-inspired cuisine. All food served in the restaurant is made fresh daily, and the meat is prepared with a dry rub before being smoked over oak wood in brick pits for between 12 and 24 hours. Sandwiches, salads, tacos, and a good number of vegetarian options are also on the menu. The restaurant is open every day between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm, and happy hour occurs between 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm from Monday through Friday.
512 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705, Phone: 512-477-1651
© Franklin Barbecue
Owned and operated by celebrated barbecue chef Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue has been open since 2009. The meat served is free of hormones and antibiotics, and the house specialty is beef brisket in an espresso barbecue sauce. Meat can be ordered by the pound or in a sandwich, and the menu also offers several side dishes and 4-inch pies for dessert. The restaurant is open only for lunch, and food is served from 11:00 am until it's sold out. The joint can get quite busy and customers are advised to arrive early to ensure they don't miss out.
900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-653-1187
5.BBQ Restaurants near me: Black's BBQ
© Black's BBQ
Owned and operated by the Black family for over three generations, Black's BBQ is one of the oldest barbecue joints in Texas. All the meat is slow-smoked in-house over local oak wood and seasoned with a simple rub prepared according to a secret family recipe that dates back to 1932. Seven different types of barbecued meats are available for order by the pound, including beef brisket, pork spare ribs, and turkey breast. The menu also offers homemade sausages, sandwiches, side dishes, desserts, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Plenty of gluten-free options are available, including most of the barbecued meat.
3110 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705, Phone: 512-524-0801
6.Branch BBQ & Catering
© Branch BBQ & Catering
Known for its friendly atmosphere and dedication to quality service, Branch BBQ & Catering has been locally owned and operated since 1994. Owner Chris Carby also works as the Pitmaster, ensuring all meat is prepared fresh using his secret BBQ sauce recipe. The house specialty is smoked catfish and guests can choose to order their meat by the pound, as part of a barbecue platter, or in a sandwich. Special family packages are available for groups of 3 to 8 people. The restaurant also offers catering for events of 25 people or more, and packages include food, delivery, setup, and service.
1779 Wells Branch Pkwy #112, Austin, TX 78728, Phone: 512-990-5282
© Brown's BBQ
Brown's Bar-B-Cue started out as a simple barbecue stand on the corner of Barton Springs and Lamar, and today it has evolved into one of the best-rated barbecue trailers in Austin. Owner Daniel Brown believes in giving people large portions of affordable yet high-quality food, and this philosophy can clearly be seen in the menu prices. A wide variety of meats are offered, including brisket, chicken, and pulled pork, and all of it is slow-smoked in the barbecue pit that Brown built himself. Customers can also choose from a selection of wraps, small and large sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts. Next read: TX beaches
1901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-517-8520
8.BBQ Places near me: Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que
© Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que
True to its name, Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que serves up authentic Texan barbecue in the historic 200 block of Congress Avenue. The menu offers an excellent selection of meats by the pound, including brisket, chicken, pork, turkey, and goat. Optional side dishes include potato salad, coleslaw, and pinto beans. A rooftop garden and shady back patio are available for anyone wishing to dine outside, and two private event spaces can be reserved for groups of 30-300 people. The restaurant is open until 10:00pm every day of the week and valet parking is offered after 5:00pm.
217 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-474-4227
9.Best BBQ in Austin: County Line
© County Line
The very first County Line restaurant was opened in an old speakeasy in 1975, and the restaurant now boasts locations all over the Southwest. The County Line on the Hill in Austin is still located in the original speakeasy and offers outdoor dining with stunning views of Texas Hill Country. A number of barbecue platters with a choice of two sides are available, and groups can also choose to indulge in one of the family-style all-you-can-eat options. The menu also has a wide selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches burgers, kebabs, and kids’ plates.
6500 Bee Cave Rd Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-327-1742
More Austin ideas: Italian restaurants, weather, lunch, burgers, packages, vegetarian, romantic getaways
© Donn's Barbeque
Open since 1983, Donn's Barbeque is a casual counter-serve restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. Breakfast starts at 5:30 am and is served all day long, while weekday lunch specials are offered starting at 10:00 am. The restaurant prides itself on its authentic Texas-style barbecue, and all food is prepared using Donn's family recipes and the finest ingredients available. Barbecue enthusiasts can choose from a wide selection of plates, family packs, and barbecued meat served by the pound, but the menu also includes a variety of salads, side dishes, sandwiches, old-fashioned hamburgers, and desserts.
2617 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78741, Phone: 512-382-6720
11.BBQ Restaurants near me: Freedmen's
Located in a historic building that dates back to 1869, Freedmen's is a smokehouse that serves up classic Hill Country-style Texas barbecue and vintage-inspired cocktails. Meats can be ordered by the quarter, half, or full pound and are served with barbecue sauce, house-made pickles, and focaccia bread. Other menu offerings include sandwiches, sides, and unique smoked pudding and mousse. The restaurant also has a beer garden and a lounge area, and the bar boasts a vast collection of more than 160 different whiskies. Happy hour takes place Tuesday through Friday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.
2402 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX 78705, Phone: 512-220-0953
12.Green Mesquite BBQ
© Green Mesquite BBQ
Located in the heart of Austin, Green Mesquite BBQ specializes in old-school Texas comfort food. The smoked ribs are the house specialty, but the meat selection also includes pulled pork, brisket, baby back ribs, smoked sausage and ham, turkey, and chicken. All meats can be ordered on a sandwich or as part of a plate, and appetizers, salads, burgers, and desserts are on the menu as well. Lunch specials are offered every weekday, and live music is played in the evenings from Thursday through Sunday. Take-out is available, including family packs that feed between 3 and 12 people.
1400 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-479-0485
13.Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.
© Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.
Tucked away in North Austin, Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q. offers reasonably priced Cantonese barbecue served in a unique space decorated with aquariums. Barbecued meats include roast duck, pork, marinated chicken, Beijing duck, and quail, and the menu also offers a wide range of stir-fries, seafood dishes, fried rice, soup, and noodle dishes. Family dinner packages are offered for groups of 3 to 10 people, and lunch specials are available on weekdays from 11:00 am until 2:30 pm. Plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options are offered, and children can choose from barbecued pork, fried shrimp, and sweet and sour chicken.
13000 I-35, Austin, TX 78753, Phone: 512-339-9088
14.BBQ Places near me: Iron Works BBQ
© Iron Works BBQ
Family owned and operated since 1978, Iron Works BBQ is an award-winning restaurant known for its specialty barbecue sauces. Situated inside a historic tin building that was formerly an ornamental iron works shop, the joint has one of the most interesting atmospheres in Austin. The menu includes a salad bar and a variety of meats available by the pound, in a sandwich, or as part of a plate. Family take-out combos with plenty of side dishes are available for groups of 3 to 4 people, and the restaurant also offers a custom meat-smoking service for anyone who brings in their own meat.
100 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-478-4855
15.BBQ Restaurants near me: La Barbecue
© La Barbecue
Owned by Alison Clem and LeAnn Mueller, the daughter of Texan barbecue legend Bobby Mueller, La Barbecue has been open since 2011. The meat selection includes brisket, pulled pork, turkey, ribs, and sausage, and the menu also offers sandwiches made with intriguing combinations of these meats and the restaurant's signature condiments. Side dishes like chipotle coleslaw, potato salad, and pinto beans are available in single serving sizes as well as larger portions perfect for sharing. All menu items can be pre-ordered; the restaurant requests that this be done at least 5 days in advance, and there is no minimum order.
1906 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-605-9696
16.Micklethwait Craft Meats
© Micklethwait Craft Meats
The popular Micklethwait Craft Meats trailer opened in 2012, making it a relative newcomer on the Austin barbecue scene, but it's popular enough that customers typically have to wait in line. All the food is prepared fresh in-house, including the meats, sides, breads, sauces, and other condiments as well as barbecued meats that are sold by the pound. The offerings change daily, but the brisket and sausage are two of the most popular menu items. Barbecue plates, sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts are also available. The restaurant opens at 11:00 am from Tuesday through Sunday and closes when it has sold out.
1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-791-5961
More Austin ideas: dog-friendly restaurants, breakfast, wedding venues, Bat Bridge, Austin to Dallas, getaways from Austin
17.Pok-E-Jo's Smokehouse Inc.
© Pok-E-Jo's Smokehouse Inc.
Pok-E-Jo's Smokehouse Inc. was founded by two barbecue enthusiasts in the late 1970s and has since grown to include several popular locations scattered throughout Austin. The kitchen staff begin smoking the meat in the morning as soon as the delivery arrives and all the side dishes are made twice a day to ensure the food is as fresh as possible. Barbecue plates come with two sides, Texas toast, and unlimited condiments, but meats can also be ordered in a sandwich or by the pound. The menu includes several gluten-free items, and special family packs are available for take-out.
2121 W. Parmer Lane, Austin, TX 78727, Phone: 512-491-0434
18.Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q
© Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q
Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q first opened in 1929 as a gas station, car repair shop, and grocery store. The barbecue didn't come until the late 1980s, but traditional Texan fare is now what the establishment is best known for. The meat selection includes brisket, pork chop, turkey breast, baby back ribs, chicken, and sausage, and all the meats are prepared with a special blend of spices before being smoked over pure oak wood. The menu also offers a variety of side dishes and desserts, and group packages are available if ordered at least one day in advance.
2451 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-329-5554
19.Best BBQ in Austin: Salt Lick BBQ
© Salt Lick BBQ
Family owned and operated for three generations, the Salt Lick BBQ boasts an open barbecue pit and excellent views of Hill Country. The restaurant specializes in beef brisket, sausage, and pork ribs, and all the food is prepared using traditional family recipes that date back to the mid-1800s. Other meats are served as well, including chicken, beef ribs, turkey, and pulled pork, and all meats can be enjoyed by the pound, as a sandwich, or as part of a combo plate. There is also a good selection of side dishes, and all-you-can-eat family-style dining is available upon request.
3350 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665, Phone: 512-386-1044
20.SLAB BBQ & Beer
© SLAB BBQ & Beer
Founded in 2006, SLAB BBQ & Beer brings its own unique taste to traditional Texas barbecue. The restaurant is best known for its pulled pork sandwich, but a large selection of other sandwiches is available as well, including a one-pound sandwich that comes with every kind of smoked meat the restaurant has. The menu also offers 4 different house-made sauces, several specialty items, and traditional side dishes like potato salad and coleslaw. Specials are offered every night of the week, including half price ribs on Tuesdays, family night on Wednesdays, and all-day happy hour on Sundays.
9012 Research Blvd C4, Austin, TX 78758, Phone: 512-351-9977
21.BBQ Places near me: Stiles Switch
© Stiles Switch
Named in honor of a historic 1800s I. & G. N. railroad stop, Stiles Switch offers traditional Texas barbecue in a nostalgic setting. The menu is simple but satisfying; barbecued meats like brisket, beef ribs, pork loin, turkey breast, and sausage are served alongside classic side dishes such as potato salad, pinto beans, and two different kinds of coleslaw. The bar is proud to have a good number of local and Texas craft beers on tap, but domestic options are also available. Specials are offered most weekdays, including smoked prime rib on Wednesdays and unique sandwiches on Fridays.
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757, Phone: 512-380-9199
22.Best BBQ in Austin: Stubb's Bar-B-Q
© Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Christopher B. Stubblefield opened his first restaurant in 1968, and by the mid-1970s, Stubb's Bar-B-Q was a bustling music hub. The restaurant is now at a new location, but it remains an integral part of the Austin music scene. Live music is often played in the evenings, and a Gospel music brunch takes place every Sunday at 10:30 and 12:30. The regular menu offers a variety of appetizers, salads, barbecued meats, sandwich plates, and side dishes. All meats are carefully slow-smoked over Texas post oak, and all sides are prepared fresh from scratch every day.
801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-480-8341
23.BBQ Places near me: Terry Black's Barbecue
© Terry Black's Barbecue
Family owned and operated, Terry Black's Barbecue is the second location of the popular Lockhart barbecue joint. The available meats include brisket, sausage, turkey, and beef or pork ribs; sandwiches can be made with any of the meats, and family packs that include both meat and side dishes are offered for groups of between 6 and 18 people. The meat is smoked the old-fashioned way over a barbecue pit and tours are available upon request. It's not uncommon for the restaurant to sell out before they close at 9:00 pm, so customers are advised to arrive as early as possible.
1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-394-5899
24.Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
© Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
First opened in 2013, Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ is a family-owned and operated restaurant that offers classic barbecue with a Tex Mex twist. The smoked meats include brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken, and they can be ordered by the pound, in a sandwich, or as part of a special Mexican taco. The restaurant is also well-known for its Mexican-inspired side dishes and its delicious breakfast tacos; breakfast is served between 8:00am and 11:00am sharp. Lunch starts at 11:00 am, and food is served until 10:00pm or until it's sold out.
11500 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78745, Phone: 512-221-4248
© Vic's Bar-B-Que
Vic's Bar-B-Que is a casual counter-serve barbecue joint with wood paneling and authentic Texan decor. Meat is available by the pound or as part of a plate or sandwich, and extra barbecue sauce can be purchased separately. The menu also offers a variety of seafood, desserts, and side dishes like potato salad, stuffed jalapeños, and hush puppies. Various sizes of family packs are available; the largest comes with three pounds of meat, three sides, and pickles, onions, bread, and barbecue sauce. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week except for Sunday.
3502 Burleson Rd, Austin, TX 78741, Phone: 512-445-4250
25 Best BBQ Restaurants in Austin, Texas
- Lamberts, Photo: Lamberts
- Kerlin BBQ, Photo: Kerlin BBQ
- Ruby's BBQ, Photo: Ruby's BBQ
- Franklin Barbecue, Photo: Franklin Barbecue
- BBQ Restaurants near me: Black's BBQ, Photo: Black's BBQ
- Branch BBQ & Catering, Photo: Branch BBQ & Catering
- Brown's BBQ, Photo: Brown's BBQ
- BBQ Places near me: Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que, Photo: Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que
- Best BBQ in Austin: County Line, Photo: County Line
- Donn's Barbeque, Photo: Donn's Barbeque
- BBQ Restaurants near me: Freedmen's, Photo: Freedmen's
- Green Mesquite BBQ, Photo: Green Mesquite BBQ
- Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q., Photo: Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.
- BBQ Places near me: Iron Works BBQ, Photo: Iron Works BBQ
- BBQ Restaurants near me: La Barbecue, Photo: La Barbecue
- Micklethwait Craft Meats, Photo: Micklethwait Craft Meats
- Pok-E-Jo's Smokehouse Inc., Photo: Pok-E-Jo's Smokehouse Inc.
- Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q, Photo: Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q
- Best BBQ in Austin: Salt Lick BBQ, Photo: Salt Lick BBQ
- SLAB BBQ & Beer, Photo: SLAB BBQ & Beer
- BBQ Places near me: Stiles Switch, Photo: Stiles Switch
- Best BBQ in Austin: Stubb's Bar-B-Q, Photo: Stubb's Bar-B-Q
- BBQ Places near me: Terry Black's Barbecue, Photo: Terry Black's Barbecue
- Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ, Photo: Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
- Vic's Bar-B-Que, Photo: Vic's Bar-B-Que
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of exclusive-design - Fotolia.com